Is it true?

When you surf the Internet, you come across a lot of information. Some of it is true, some of it is questionable and some is a complete fabrication. Often it's difficult to tell one from another.

Fortunately there is a site that tracks down the truth. That web site is Snopes, the Urban Legends Reference Site. The site is run by Barbara and David Mikkelson in San Fernando so it can sometimes take a while before a new legend to be debunked or proven correct. The name Snopes comes from a family of often unpleasant people in the works of William Faulkner. More information on the site can be found in Wikipedia here.

Often these urban legends come in forwarded emails. There was an email a few years ago claiming that the artificial sweetener aspartame was the cause of multiple sclerosis, lupus, cancer and brain tumors.

One word of warning; Snopes will open up a few advertising pop-up windows. Just close them. The value of this site is well worth putting up with the advertising.

To see if our aspertame rumor is true, enter aspartame in the Snopes search argument. We get two possible rumors.

Ours is the second one so we click on it.

Snopes aspartame


Where we find out that that particular email is FALSE. Adpartame


Snopes catalogues thousands of urban legends. You can browse through their database by category on the Snopes main page.



Now that you know about Snopes, don't spread false rumors. Be the smart one in your email group and prove those rumors true before forwarding that email.